Last year Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon suggested that there were no more “major” shale discoveries to be made in the U.S. Some may interpret that as an imminent swan song for the resource plays that have transformed the nation’s energy scene. However, The Land Rig Newsletter team contends that there are a lot of other tight rock resource plays emerging that in the aggregate could amount to something pretty major.
In the June 2 Unconventional Drilling Report, the LRNL team posits that liquids-focused tight rock resource plays will continue to proliferate in the most venerable of oil arenas, e.g. Oklahoma and Texas, even if there are no more “major” plays on the order of the Eagle Ford to be confirmed. A flurry of mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures will continue this year, spurring a fresh wave of drilling in these “lesser” liquids plays that will extend well into 2012—assuming oil prices hold up. But unconventional rig count gains will be reined in by softness in gas shale tallies that will probably persist through next year.